Prayers Answered, Robinson Says

Brandon Robinson talks about his return to the Auburn basketball team.

Auburn, Ala.--Brandon Robinson says his prayers were answered when he was given the green light to return to the basketball court for the Auburn Tigers on Wednesday night.

The 2001-2002 Freshman All-SEC forward was pulled from the lineup just prior to Auburn's exhibition opener this season and had not been allowed to play in games for the Tigers until the SEC opener vs. Vanderbilt. Robinson came through with eight points, four rebounds, a blocked shot and some timely defensive play as the Tigers won 62-59.

Brandon Robinson

When asked about how it felt to be back in competition, Robinson said, "It feels great. Sitting out 12 or 13 games on the sideline cheering my teammates, it hurt to see them out there and me not out there. But then again, it felt good because they were winning."

Robinson didn't contribute to Auburn's 11-2 non-conference record, but he certainly had a major hand in helping the Tigers start at 1-0 in Southeastern Conference play. "I was just glad to put my jersey back on," Robinson added. "I didn't care if I got out there or not (Wednesday). I just wanted to put my No. 13 back on my back."

Just four minutes and 50 seconds into the first half with Auburn trailing 9-7, Coach Cliff Ellis made the call to put Robinson in the game. It took him just 35 seconds to score his first points of the season on a nice inside move to the basket to tie the game at 9-9. Then, at the 14:02 mark he showed his trademark kangaroo-style leaping ability with a rebound-putback-slam at the 12:36 mark that moved the Tigers on top for the first time in the game. The 6-8 sophomore said that was the play that let him know he was ready for SEC action.

Questions about Robinson's eligibility emerged in the preseason concerning aid the forward was accused of receiving from his AAU basketball coach before he enrolled in college after signing with AU. After discussing the situation with Auburn University and NCAA officials, Robinson said that he assumed everything was fine and the case was closed. However, that is not what happened. Robinson said he was "truly" caught by surprise when he found out that he was being pulled from the active team roster in November. "I thought everything was over with, but before the first exhibition they came and told me that I had to sit out for that game. I had to talk to some people. That really hurt because I was looking forward to playing."

Robinson said he "had no clue" that he would miss nearly half the season. He also admitted that he was worried if he would ever suit up for the Tigers this season. "A few times I got thinking to myself that I might not play this year," Robinson said. "I just started praying. My momma just told me that everything was going to be all right. We called and talked and prayed together. Tonight it was just--thank God, I am just glad to be back out here."

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